A senior police officer in Lagos, has said armed robbers who invaded the state on Sunday succeeded because they monitored policemen’s movement with stolen walkie-talkies.
The officer, who craved anonymity, told our correspondent that this was further made possible by the sophisticated weapons the bandits wielded and security lapse in the state.
He said, “The hoodlums were between eight and 12. After they killed policemen in a Rapid Response Squad van on Oba Akran Avenue, they stole their guns as well as their walkie talkies which they then used to track police movement.
“So, for example, if policemen were on Allen Avenue, the robbers would avoid that area and take an alternative route. This was how they were able to escape.”
The policeman, who described the bandits as “experts” said the casualty figure was yet unknown. But he confirmed that a corporal, Dejo Obaje, was among the slain policemen.
When asked to name the remaining policemen felled by the robbers’ bullets, he declined further comment on the issue.
The police officer said to avoid a recurrence, the police were making efforts to reprogramme the walkie-talkie remotely.
The police officer told PUNCH Metro that the hoodlums also took advantage of the usual light traffic on Sundays.
Meanwhile, our correspondent, who visited Anthony, Ikeja and Gbagada, observed that policemen had yet to beef up security in the respective areas.
A senior policeman, who craved anonymity, said unless roadblocks were returned in the area, more of such robberies would be recorded.
“If there were checkpoints around, the robbers would not have been able to carry out such a daring operation. Sitting in a vehicle and just keeping watch cannot be as effective as blocking the road. Also, the robbers seem to have targeted men in uniform because only policemen were killed,” he said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that all Divisional Police Officers in the state held a meeting with the Commissioner of Police for the state command, Mr. Umar Manko on Monday.
“All the DPOs spent the night at their respective stations following orders from the CP. We are also having our usual Monday meeting but the priority will be on how to beef up security because the robbers took advantage of the security lapses of Sunday to perpetrate their evil act,” the source said.
In a related development, the victims taken to Gbagada General Hospital are responding to treatment.
Four victims, including a one-year-old baby identified simply as Taiwo, sustained gunshot wounds when the robbers invaded Gbagada area of the state.
A LASTMA official, who craved anonymity, said it was wrong that no government official had come to visit the victims in the hospital.
He said, “Sosan (LASTMA official) was on duty when he was shot by the robbers. He is responding to treatment but is still in pain. No government official has come to pay him a visit and it’s very wrong.
“They should have come to visit him and boost the morale of other officers. I think it’s very unfair.”
Robbers numbering about 12, attacked various parts of the state such as Surulere, Gbagada, Anthony, Agege and Ikeja on Sunday.
Many bureau de change operators were robbed of millions of naira while properties were vandalised by the culprits.